How To Let Go of Guilt, Shame and Failure

How To Let Go of Guilt, Shame and Failure
Photo credits: David Goehring, Guilty As Charged. (CC 2.0)

Q: In step seven of your book and tape series Infinite Self: 33 Steps to Reclaiming Your Inner Power, you talk about guilt as a great human weakness. I was brought up in a family where I was made to feel guilty for everything, and find it difficult to transcend this deep-seated emotion. How would you suggest I banish guilt from my life -- not just on an intellectual level, but on a deep emotional level?

A: I think guilt and shame are two of the hardest emotions to go beyond because they usually come from the family of origin, and therefore from one's upbringing. Even though they are emotions that come from an opinion, the opinions are entrenched very deeply. 

If someone was shamed as a child, you can't just say to the person, "Let go of the shame", because the shame is a profound part of who they are. So with shame and guilt, I think you need the assistance of a qualified counselor who can talk you through your inner-child experience. You can then begin to see how you took on those experiences in childhood, and that it was part of your evolution and how you dealt with growing up.

I believe the higher self has a vision of what it's going to be up to each lifetime. You accepted your family and their weaknesses. When they put guilt and shame upon you, they were usually expressing their own insecurity. Even though they may have been bastards, they were bastards because they were taught weakness by somebody else. It's quite a heroic thing for you to break the chain so that this isn't handed down to your children.


Q: I try so hard to be a success in life, but I seem to attract more failure than success. When I am successful, I can't accept it; and when I fail, I beat myself up about it.

A: 0ne of my favorite quotes was written by me: "Life: never take it personally." If you can get to a point where you don't take it personally, you are recognizing that you are a spirit, a golden light inside a funny little physical body. And inside the physical body is a funny little personality that really hasn't got a clue, and a funny little ego that needs nurturing. 

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That's what we are, just funny little people playing a game inside this thing called life. So, when you look at the contrast of the ego and the spirit, you can see that it is only a matter of controlling your personality, and the first point of your control is deciding that you are not going to be the personality. 

In other words, are you that person? Are you your emotions? Are you your anguish? Are you your pain? Are you your success, your failure? 

You're not. And if you think you are, I feel sorry for you. 

You have a long, hard, painful journey ahead. You are a divine spirit, don't forget that.

Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc.
© by Stuart Wilde. All Rights Reserved.

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by Stuart Wilde and Leon Nacson.

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About the Author

Stuart Wilde Author and lecturer Stuart Wilde was one of the real characters of the self-help, human potential movement. His style was humorous, controversial, poignant, and transformational. He has more than a dozen books, including those that make up the very successful Taos Quintet, which are considered classics in their genre. They are: Affirmations, The Force, Miracles, The Quickening, and The Trick to Money Is Having Some. Stuart's books have been translated more than 10 languages. Learn more at

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